represent yourself in a lawsuit. If you represent yourself in a lawsuit without
an attorney’s assistance you are called a pro se litigant. Pro se is a Latin
phrase which means “for oneself” or “on one’s own behalf.” Pro se litigants are
also called self-represented litigants. In criminal matters, you have a
constitutional right to represent yourself. In civil matters, there is no such
right but it is a choice made by you. However, in some cases where a corporation
is a party, attorneys are required to appear on the corporation’s behalf.
Although you can represent yourself, when you enter the courtroom you are tasked
with having the same knowledge of the court process as an attorney. This can be
a daunting endeavor especially if you did not attend law school. In an effort to
better navigate the Rhode Island court system, we have created a Self-Help
Center which may answer many of your questions and direct you to find the
information you need to represent yourself.